Egypt parliament dissolved, constitution suspended

Egypt parliament dissolved, constitution suspended

The Supreme Military Council, that took over the reins of the administration after Hosni Mubarak bowed out under public pressure ending his 30-year reign, said it would stay in power for six months or until the elections are held to determine the next government of Egypt.

It also fixed a September date for elections that will eventually decide the country's next government.The move to dissolve the parliament, that is comprised mostly of Mubarak loyalists along with the suspension of the constitution meets two major demands of the demonstrators camping at the Tahrir Square since 20 days.

The parliament that was elected last year had a majority of members of the National Democratic Party of Mubarak and was regarded as illegitimate by many people as widespread rigging was believed to have led to the ruling party's overwhelming victory and the opposition's wipe out.

In a communique read out on national television, the military council also announced that it would constitute a panel to amend the constitution to meet the demands of reform by the people, before submitting the changes to a popular referendum.
Today's steps are the first major measures to remove the Mubarak-era relics of power after the erstwhile regime was overturned by a mass uprising.

The caretaker military government had yesterday promised to oversee a peaceful transition to democracy but many protesters had said they wanted to see more concrete measures before they can return to their daily life.

In fact, the Army which tried to clear the Tahrir Square this morning, was met with resistance, with many protesters choosing to stay put until further guarantees from the new leadership.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said that his government's first priority was to restore peace and normalcy to the country which has witnessed dramatic events over the past fortnight.

"Our main concern now as a cabinet is security - we need to bring back a sense of security to the Egyptian citizen," he said.He said the country's financial position was "solid and cohesive" but cautioned that the present instability should not continue. Shafiq also pledged to "return rights to the people and fight corruption".

The Prime Minister's comments came after the cabinet held its first meeting after Mubarak's departure from power.He also said that the former President is still in in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, amid contradictory reports about his whereabouts.

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